COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The El Paso County district attorney has dropped the charges against 29-year-old Dalvin Gadson.
Police said he was being stopped on suspicion of DUI, and they claimed to have seen a knife in the car. A scuffle broke out and was captured on the officer’s body camera video.
Gadson was beaten and punched. He was then charged with several counts, including assaulting a police officer, but those charges have been dismissed.
The El Paso County district attorney said Gadson entered a guilty plea to the unlawful display of license plates. He was ordered to pay a fine. All other charges were dismissed.
The DA’s office said state laws “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”
Attorney: Officers in Gadson case should be charged
“By dropping those charges, the district attorney made it clear that these officers had no reason to detain Mr. Gadson for a DUI,” attorneys for Gadson said.
“This means their actions weren’t just excessive. They were unlawful. The officers should be investigated, arrested and prosecuted,” his attorneys added.
The president of Aurora’s NAACP said on Tuesday that dropping the charges was the right thing to do.
“I’m glad the charges have been dropped against Mr. Gadson, because according to the footage I’ve seen, he didn’t do anything wrong,” said Omar Montgomery, president of the Aurora Branch of the NAACP.
The Colorado Springs Police Department had previously said it reviewed the case and found the use of force was within its policy. It added that an internal affairs investigation was taking place.
Still, some question why Gadson was stopped in the first place.
“We are talking about a young man, who was a vet that has served this country and went through a complete beating at the hands of the police department because he didn’t have a license plate, and it turned out to be $15 fine,” Montgomery said.
A federal lawsuit has been filed in this case.
DA’s office, police department release statements
Here is the statement from the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office in its entirety:
On January 30, 2023, Dalvin Gadson Ochoa entered a guilty plea to Unlawful Display of License Plates, a class B Traffic Infraction. Mr. Gadson Ochoa was ordered to pay a fine, surcharge and any court costs as determined by the court. All other charges were dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office. Rule 3.8(a) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct states that a prosecutor shall “refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause.”
This incident remains under investigation by CSPD. Accordingly, further comment by the District Attorney’s Office would not be appropriate at this time.Howard Black, El Paso County District Attorney’s Office
Here is the statement from the Colorado Springs Police Department in its entirety:
Today the criminal judicial process regarding Dalvin Gadson concluded. The Colorado Springs Police Department makes arrests based on the legal standard of probable cause. The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office makes decisions regarding the prosecution of cases based on a different legal standard. The District Attorney’s Office makes their charging decisions regarding the prosecution of criminal cases independent of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
We will be publicly releasing the criminal case file based upon the legal standards established by Colorado law in the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act. This release will occur within the next 24 hours on the same Cases of Interest web page where we previously released the probable cause affidavit and relevant body worn camera video.
Contrary to the statement from Mr. Gadson’s lawyer, Chief Vasquez did not say the involved officers “did nothing wrong”. Chief Vasquez has made no determination on the action of the involved officers. As we previously stated an internal investigation is occurring. This internal investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for the Chief to make a statement prior to its conclusion.
CSPD will not have any additional comment on this incident due to the pending civil litigation.Lt. Pamela Castro, Colorado Springs Police Department